Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A week ago at this moment I had still not seen Earl since surgery.
A week later, I am amazed at how well I am doing. I'm still on heavy pain medication but have already started to lessen the amount by about a third. I'm starting to slowly do things like washing dishes, sweeping the floor, laundry and other household chores. I never expected that I'd be able to do all that this soon. Yes, I still have constant pain but it doesn't limit me as much as I expected.
I have also started a new kind of herb products that I am really excited about. I really feel that God directed Earl & I to meet Daryl Robinson when we did.
We're praising God that I'm doing so well and praising Him for another miracle.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Surprise! On Thursday evening when we talked to Dr. Waddell we asked him if there was any possibility we could fly home Saturday morning to be home for Randy's graduation. He told us it would probably work since the airleak in her lungs had closed up 12 hours after surgery. So...obviously that was pretty exciting for us since we hadn't let ourselves believe we could be home for grad. We decided it would be fun to surprise Randy and the rest of our families and our friends. So....if you look back at Thursday's and Friday's blogs it doesn't say much about when we would be coming home. Anyway, at 6:30 Saturday morning we picked up Ramona at the hospital.....by 10 a.m. we were in Winnipeg having just enjoyed a nice turbulent ride....by 1 p.m. we were in church saying 'hi' to Randy....it was definitely an exciting adrenaline filled day for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the grad and afterward we sat around with Petkau family for a few hours and then tried to write a blog for a long time....we are not thankful for viruses, but we sure are thankful that God allowed us to come home yesterday. We still appreciate prayer immensely, the next weeks when the adrenaline is gone, will will be much tougher than exciting, adrenaline filled days.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Last night as I was winding down for bed in the lounge of the 10th floor of the Eaton wing of the Toronto General Hospital I put on the TV for a bit. Out of the blue a guy walks into my 'bedroom' and asks me if I play hockey. It turns out from our conversation that he was sure he recognized from his ball hockey league. He spent the night in emergency in St. B. after one of his ball hockey games in Winnipeg in the beginning of August of last summer, but I don't think that was a connection either......whatever the case we chatted for quite a while...and Daryl's story is truly quite amazing....He...now 29, was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer at 18...he underwent the usual chemo...surgery...but then the doctors just sent him home...they didn't know what they would do if his cancer kept growing...he wasn't satisfied...he 'randomly' researched on the internet...got a hold of some herbs...his tumors shrunk...doctors were amazed...being a young zealous guy he told everyone he knew about this product that was healing him...to make a long story short he now owns a nutrition supplement business with 30,000 clients....anyway...i noticed earlier that whenever he walked around the hospital he walked pretty fast...i thought he must be doing pretty good...it turns out that on June 12 he had his chest opened 'like a suitcase' and benign tumors (formerly malignant) removed from his lungs and belly area...we could hardly argue about nutritional supplements with someone who is obviously doing so well. The doctors told him he would be in hospital atleast six weeks...he's flying home on Monday...he is such an encouraging guy to talk to...plus i had spent alot of time thinking about what kind of 'supplements' i would get for Ramona from now on. Those decisions have always felt huge to me...this seemed divinely inspired that Daryl and I talked last night....anyway...the day at the hospital wasn't incredibly eventful. Mony is now taking 1 percocet every two hours and two advil every 6 hours. That seems to sort of take care of the pain although she is never actually pain free. There are parts of wounds of the surgery that pain medication simply doesn't touch. I just mentioned to Ramona this evening that sometimes I don't get so excited about this blogging idea...to which she replied that the blog reminds people to pray...i appreciated that reminder from her...Thanks so much for continuing to pray for us.

'Til we meet again,

P.S. I can't remember if I blogged this earlier or not, but Dr. Waddell told Ramona that she wouldn't start feeling any better for about 3 weeks. That's kinda discouraging. 3 weeks is short relative to a lifetime, but in the moment....well you know

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Toronto: the saga continues

hey everyone, this is Jason here...earl's staying the night at the hospital, so i get the honours of addressing the free world via this blog...i feel so powerful....anyways, i think what i was supposed to say was that things are (still) going basically as good as can be expected...apparently there was a bit of a hitch this morning when ramona was given a little too much pain medication (i think it was called Perkicet... Perceset? Perkeset? what am i, a doctor?)...i guess that happened cuz they took out her epidural, and were trying to compensate for the lack of pain relief (i hope there are no highly educated medical people reading this)...other than that, things seem okay...they took all the tubes out of her, which is obviously a praise item...i guess that's it...i think if there's a hidden message here it's that if there were more super-serious news or setbacks to share, i would not have been chosen to write this blog...if this has been too vague or the spelling too un-good, not to worry, i'm sure earl will write something much more coherent tomorrow sometime...

stay classy,

Jason Reimer

p.s. will somebody please tell my girlfriend she looks beautiful? thanks

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

For those of you who wonder why I don't blog as often as I did last surgery, my excuse is that we don't have proper internet access on the tenth floor. This is my bro Jay trying to get some sort of wireless connection from all the surrounding buildings. By the way it's nice for Ramona and I that my brother and mom are with us now. (My mom is currently sleeping in the lounge in the hospital. Like I said, the strict rules in Toronto General don't allow any 'visitor' to stay the night in a room that isn't private)

This is Mony openning a gift that her mom sent along with us (On the privacy of the blog, Mony was very thankful for the comfy pants and I forgot to tell you on the phone mom...oops) In the background you see her neighbor, she mostly sleeps, Ramona has had good people in the different rooms she's been in )

Part of the recovery process is this breathing incentive....thing...pretty much you have to inhale in this tube and it shows you how powerful you suck and it has this little blue thing that floats when you inhale...and....i give up...go to a hospital and ask to look at one of these breathing incentive devices...

This picture is merely to show you how good my wife looks with her new hat and glasses. The picture was taken the night before surgery

Now...trying to catch up on all the technical information and the thoughts and feelings attached to that. Ramona's pain is largely under control. When I got to the hospital at 11 this morning. Ramona began to have more pain. Coincidence I was told. With a few boosts of Morphine in her epidural and an ant-inflammatory plus two tylenol she began to feel better. Pain-wise the rest of the day was very bearable. She is beginning to be itchy from Morphine use.
Ever since Mony got to her room on the tenth floor yesterday there have been no airleaks in her lung or chest cavity (I'm forgetting all my technical terms in my sleep here). This is a good sign and they will likely take the tubes from her chest in the morning. I'm getting the impression that if possible they remove most of tubes all at once. If they remove the IV, catheter, epidural, and drainage tubes in the morning she'll be almost a free woman.
The physiotherapists in the TGH are concerned that Ramona isn't walking better. They are researching precisely what was cut and what was reattached in the hip surgery by Dr. Ferguson. To be continued. Hopefully physio has a better idea what is going on tomorrow.
Speaking of walking, Ramona walked out in the hallways three times today. I'm impressed. I don't know how to describe this and Ramona may look at me funny later when she reads this but I continue to be amazed at how flexible her upper body is after how damaged her rib cage must be. Modern pain relief techniques are amazing.
We continue to be concerned what the left lung (theoretically the good lung). If six or seven 'new' spots appeared on the right lung since the last CT, it's pretty hard to have faith that the left lung will show clear when they do a CT now in a few days. Much faith needed.
Concerning the scare last evening with Ramona's arm being immobile and potential blood clots and all that stuff. I'm incredible thankful that all seems to be well. Her left arm has as much mobility by now as it did before surgery. Conclusion is that the epidural probably wasn't placed perfectly and they slightly overdosed the amount of morphine through there.
So.....having said all this....Ramona will hopefully be out of the hospital by Friday and likely fly home a few days later. There are plenty of reasons they may want us there longer, but that was the nurses prediction today.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When I wrote last time, I stopped at a computer lab between the surgical waiting room and the tenth floor to go wait for them to bring Ramona up to her room. I expected them to have her up by about 3:30. Finally at 4 o'clock I asked the nurses what was going on. They told me Ramona needed to have a CT Scan. This was all they told me right then. I found out the details slowly, but what happened over the next couple of hours scared us a lot. When Ramona woke up from surgery she had a severe headache and absolutely no movement in her right arm. This has potential to be a severe problem. The doctors quickly went to work to prove that Ramona did not have a blood clot in her spinal column from the epidural. Had there been a blood clot neurosurgeons would have had to do emergency surgery to remove the clot. (I'm not sure I want to ask what all the possibilities could have been)...anyway they did the CT Scan which was inconclusive so they needed to do an MRI. The doctors did not know whether or not they could do an MRI since they couldn't decide if the whole epidural system contained any metal. So Ramona had much time downstairs to be with the nurses. And Ramona had many good things to say about the nurses. By the time, I saw Ramona it was about 8:30. I was incredibly glad to see her, obviously. I am leaving out incredible amounts of information, but all I want to do is sleep right now. Ramona is by herself in the hospital, TGH is quite strict about visiting hours (although they did let us stay later since Ramona only got up half an hour before the end of visiting hours) Ramona talked about how much peace she had throughout the day. Pretty amazing for a day that had moments of wondering whether or not she would survive the complications of the surgery)

Ramona is out of surgery. I just finished talking to the resident doctor he said that they took ten spots out of the lungs. He said they got everything. This begs questions. Two months ago on the CT Scan they could only see three spots. I'll wait to talk to Dr. Waddell later to see what this means. The biggest spot wasn't attached to anything. That is good news. Ramona was incredibly relaxed before the surgery. We sat around in the pre-op holding room chatting and realizing the peace we had was because of all the people praying. Pretty neat feeling. Ramona should be getting up to the room in an hour or two.
Thanks for praying,
This is Ramona in her first room of the day. She is with the resident doctor signing the surgery consent form. Actually, I think it is the form that allows them to use what they take from her to do research

In the evening after we had rested all afternoon we headed out to Nathan Philips Square (I hope that is spelled correctly).

This is where we bought our supper. What could be better than a big juicy German hot dog. To be honest we both couldn't think of anything we wanted to eat. Restaurant food is not exactly very entertaining. In all seriousness, the lung surgery is now eleven hours away. Ramona is in the hospital and Jay, myself and my mom are in the AIM apartment. We want everyone to be praying for a miracle. At the same time Ramona and I have been talking alot about how to accept it if this surgery isn't the final end to this cancer battle. It seems almost to good to be true that with this surgery the cancer could be gone forever. The surgery is scheduled for 11:55 a.m. Please pray hard. Everything that the doctors and nurses have told us is that the recovery from this surgery is incredibly painful. Ramona is think of getting an epidural for the first few days. I'm gonna go sleep.
For now,
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hey there... I found a few pictures to show what we've been doing instead of blogging. This first picture is kinda momentous actually. When we first came back from Toronto Ramona was having a hard time walking with her crutches. Here, five days before lung surgery she is cutting some grass. In all honesty it's been pretty frustrating. Ramona has only been off her pain medication for a few days and the limp is much worse than we expected it to be at this point.
This is me on my birthday. Ramona bought me some steaks to make on our new BBQ. I felt very full after my two T-bone steaks.
Yesterday we were camping out in Clear Lake with Ray and LaVissa and Elsie. This is our transportation. Ramona helped peddle occasionally, but made sure that any uphill cycling was on my own.

Today we're sitting back in our room back at the AIM Head Office in Scarborough, Ontario. It was about 10:30 by the time we got out of the airport (Thanks to Tim Brown for the ride) and we're getting settled in here as we write. Tomorrow at about quarter after ten Andrew is coming to pick us up to take us to the Toronto General Hospital (Thanks to Andrew and Eva for letting us use their car again). Ramona will be admitted then and the Hospital stay will begin. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Thanks for praying ya'll.
For now,

P.S. Ramona has had quite a bit of trouble sleeping. That is definitely something to pray about.
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Surgery Date Changed

Here's a little update...
This week I got a phone call from Dr. Wadell's (lung surgeon)secretary telling me that the date for my lung surgery had changed. For some reason Dr. Wadell would not be able to do my surgery on the 21st so instead of postponing it, they pushed the date forward 2 days. As of now, my surgery is scheduled for the 19th of June at 10:00 in the morning. As much as this is exciting-every day sooner towards getting me healthy-it's also a little frustrating as we had just barely booked all our flights. We still are working on getting all the flights changed.
I'm trying to remember when the last time is that I used my crutches. I believe it was on Saturday. Out of curiousity I tried to do stairs on my own with Earl right by my side and sure enough I was able to do it. Since then my crutches haven't been used. My walking still is quite unique. I have quite a severe limp and so my right hip ends up aching due to all the compensating. However, it's definitely improving. Earl & I played catch on Sunday trying to get my left arm to 'work properly'. Even though my arm is still far from where I wish it was, I was able to catch almost everything. (Yes they were slow throws).
I'm still using narcotic pain medication around the clock. However, I've been feeling that I need to slowly start getting off of it. That's been pretty tough. It's been hard to know if my body still needs the drugs or not. I find I'm way more tired and groggy when the effects of the pain meds have worn off. I guess we'll slowly keep expermenting.
Well that's what is going on these days. I'm hoping to go to the greenhouse with my mom today and buy some flowers.
For now